Somali American Social Service Association (SASSA)
The Somali community in Rochester, MN is by far one of the most connected cultural groups in the region. Our project hopes to untangle the rich culture that is often hidden from the public sphere in Rochester, MN. Unity begins with knowing your neighbors. Through the Humanities Center's Cultural Grant we will implement a program to inform and teach our fellow neighbors about the Somali culture. Our platform will be based on speakers, multimedia, tv programming, and print.
Leyla Suleiman (Minneapolis, MN) Leyla is a first year educator, author in the Crossroads: Somali Youth Anthology, and was a panelist for the Community Partner Fund and is also serving in the immigrant cultural heritage panel. She is Somali.
Hibaq Mohamed (Minneapolis, MN) – Hibaq is an MHC Increase Engagement facilitator, author in the Crossroads: Somali Youth Anthology, and is also serving in the immigrant cultural heritage panel. She is Somali.
Nasra Farah (St. Cloud, MN) – Nasrah is a board member and featured speaker through the activist/advocacy organization #unitecloud. She is Somali.
Dr. Cawo Abdi (Minneapolis MN) Dr. Abdi is a professor of Sociology at the U of M. She has worked with MHC previously through its Lunch and Learn Series. She is Somali.
Minnesota Humanities Center
$850,000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are for a competitive grants program to provide grants to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Minnesota.
(2) Of this amount, $250,000 the first year is for a grant to one or more community organizations that provide arts and cultural heritage programming celebrating Somali heritage.
Sassa plans to use electronics and paper methods to survey guests before and after the events. We will also use the data to measure metrics on the number of people who attended. In addition, we plan to do data analyses to help improve our process.
The goals of the project are as such:
- Board direction
- Staff training
- Partner Organizations
- Grant Funding
- External Educational Resources (speakers)
- Informational Sessions/Conferences
- Community Education
- Peer Support Instruction
- City/County involvement
- Pre- and Post-metrics to draw conclusions and compare data
- Represent data that can analyze (descriptive statistics,…)
- Number of youth who attend
- Number of training offered
- Number of community contacts
- Number of immigrants who increase understanding of Somali culture
- Number of diverse Professionals (Nurse, Lab Tech…) who present
- To enhance the understating of the Somali culture and its importance to the community.
- To steer the direction of knowledge towards a central source through our webpage.
- To give Somali immigrants the tools and resources to convey their culture in a meaningful way.
- To prevent cultural misunderstandings resulting in violent groups, and property damage.
- To bridge cultural and traditional customs with the opportunities available in the U.S.A.
- To provide a survey to see how neighbors perceive Somali culture.
- Outcome 1: To enhance the understating of the Somali culture and its importance to the community. We made an effort to make sure the Somali Culture was understood properly. We worked with translators to sure ambiguous phrases were conveyed accurately.
- Outcome 2: To steer the direction of knowledge towards a central source through our webpage. We have accomplished this by making sure SASSA would be the contact if anyone was interested in our services or even learning more.
- Outcome 3: To give Somali immigrants the tools and resources to convey their culture in a meaningful way. This was also accomplished and the tools were provided and on how to find these resources.
- Outcome 4: To prevent cultural misunderstandings resulting in violent groups, and property damage. A lot of misunderstanding was worked out and all parties were to ask any questions they had
- Outcome 5: To bridge cultural and traditional customs with the opportunities available in the U.S.A. We found that most people have the same goals in dreams, safety, and goals.
- Outcome 6: To provide a survey to see how neighbors perceive Somali culture. We are still working on finding a way to capture this information via Zoom.